Category Archives: sweeties’ sweet treats

oatmeal hazelnut chocolate chip cookies


i’m scratching my head…why don’t i have this recipe from Judy Rosenberg’s Cookie Book up here? why? when it is one of kids’ top 5 favorite cookies that they eat cookie monster-style? i posted a photo of a variation on instagram and a fellow IG enthusiast requested the recipe. i was about to link her up but it’s nowhere to be found here!
so here it is… the only change i made from the original oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe was to substitute hazelnut flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) for the whole wheat flour.

guaranteed to recruit many fans to your kitchen.

1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsps. hazelnut flour (ground peeled hazelnuts)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cups (2 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 & 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tbsps. milk
2 & 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
8 ounces chocolate chips (i use dark, or 60% cacao)

preheat oven to 375 degrees F. line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

sift flours, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. (i just whisk this mixture vigorously until well blended.)

in the mixing bowl, with the mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, both sugars and the vanilla until light and fluffy, 1 & 1/2 minutes. stop the mixer twice to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

add 1 egg and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. scrape the bowl and add the second egg and the milk. beat on medium speed until blended, another 10 seconds. scrape the bowl.

add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until almost incorporated. scrape the bowl. add the oats and blend on medium speed for 10 seconds; once again scrape the bowl.
add the chocolate chips and mix until well blended, about 10-15 seconds. scrape that bowl! 😉

(at this point i prefer to chill the tightly covered cookie dough for
at least 2 hours to firm up a bit. just don’t forget to preheat the oven.)

drop the batter by generously rounded tablespoons into the lined baking sheets 2 inches apart. bake until the edges are golden brown and the centers are lighter in color and just set, about 14 to 16 minute–depending on your oven. (i use the convect feature of the oven.)

cool them on the baking sheets and store in airtight containers.

glazed citrus ginger butter cake

well.   i found out the disadvantages of not posting memorable meals and standout recipes here.  i was scrolling through my Picasa pictures and saw some luscious looking blonde brownies…that i could not recall making. so!  to avoid that uneasy feeling of semi-panic and somewhat sadness, i am going to ((try and) keep better tabs on the continuing eating adventures of baby rambutan.

this cake is a blend of a couple of recipes, one from an old food magazine, and the other from our local newspaper food section.  i have to remember how to bake it because my boys (daughter’s still at university) declared it a keeper.



i really enjoy the zing of ginger–it just goes so well with the orange and lemon zests, but feel free to omit. (if omitting ginger, add the 1/4 cup sugar to the total sugar amount).
this moist and tasty cake just might take the edge off of the winter chill.

glazed citrus ginger butter cake

butter (for the pan)

flour (for the pan)
3 tbsps. chopped fresh peeled ginger
1/4 cup sugar

4 tsps. grated lemon zest
4 tsps. grated orange zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. orange juice

3 & 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
2 & 1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsps. vanilla extract

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk

set the oven at 350°F. lightly butter a 10-inch Bundt pan. dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
in a food processor, combine the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar and process till finely ground. mixture will be wet.

in a bowl, combine the lemon and orange rinds, and lemon and orange juices.

in another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt to blend.
in an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter for 3 minutes. add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each. add the lemon-orange mixture and the ginger-sugar and beat for 1 minute. beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing only until incorporated. blend in vanilla. (scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and beater constantly.)

with the mixer set on low, add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating the heavy cream, beginning and ending with the flour. scrape bowl and beater often. add the milk and beat for 45 seconds.

spoon the batter into the pan, and smooth the top.
bake the cake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer/tester comes out clean. the baked cake will pull away from the sides of the pan and the top will be set.

rest the cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (or orange & lemon )

whisk the sugar and juice until somewhat dissolved. turn the cake onto a wire rack. stir the glaze before brushing on the cake, using little strokes with a brush.
(recipes from Gourmet magazine and the Boston Globe)

apple crostata

i can’t say goodbye to September without this apple crostata. apples apples apples! i love munching on them–the dizzying arrangements in the markets are simply irresistible. and we really love them baked in pies and pastries and tarts. just reading the varieties: fuji, gala, honeycrisp, cortland, McIntosh, Baldwin… use your favorite baking variety, the kind that retains its shape and bakes up sweet yet not oozing all over the pie or cake or crumble: that would be perfect.
i used my favorite Golden Delicious because i like how tart it tastes while retaining its bite.
the pastry is easy to make especially with a food processor but a pastry cutter would work out well too. the surprise ingredient doesn’t affect the taste of the tart at all…it’s just terribly good.
this is the after.
this is the before.

apple crostata from the Boston Globe.

for the pastry:

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut up
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
extra flour for sprinkling

in a food processor, pulse flour, salt, baking powder and sugar to sift.
add the butter and pulse till the mixture is crumbly.
in a bowl, combine vinegar and ice water.
sprinkle the liquids over the flour mix, and pulse the dough just until clumpy but not forming a ball.
turn the clumps out into a lightly floured board, shape into a ball, flatten into a 4 inch disk. wrap in plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

for the filling:
3 large baking apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsps. flour
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sliced almonds (optional)
1 tbsp. heavy cream or milk
sanding sugar for sprinkling (i used demerara)
confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling after baking

set the oven at 400°F. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
in a bowl, toss the apples with sugar, salt, lemon juice, and flour until thoroughly coated.
on a floured surface, roll out the pastry disk to a 12-inch circle. lift the pastry onto a rolling pin and then lay out on the lined baking sheet.
heap the apples on to the pastry, with a 1 & 1/2 inch border at the edges. dot the apples with butter, then sprinkle with almonds, if using.
fold the edges of the pastry up and over the apples–it will pleat onto itself as it rests on the fruit. brush the edges with cream or milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through cooking time. the edges should turn golden brown and firm.
let it settle down for at least 15 minutes.
sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, before cutting into wedges.

peachy peachy cake

feeling peachy-keen?
definition:peachy keen adjective
chiefly US, informal : very good : fine or excellent

yes, peaches are in, and what finer way to enjoy them than this fruit-laden cake. i used to hesitate in using stone fruits for baked desserts due to the labor intensive instructions on how to properly peel, which all called for some blanching in boiling water then gingerly handling hot fruit while carefully peeling…
and then i got my hands on this spiffy peeler with the jagged edges.
i’ve made these twice in a week now! first my daughter did the assembling and we brought them over to their grandparents, dessert for a take-out dimsum lunch in their condo, the second time for home consumption.

the recipe is based on one for plum cake, from the Boston Globe food edition; i substituted firm peaches and i only changed the cinnamon-sugar sprinkle on top to mostly-nutmeg and demerara, with a tiny smidgen of cinnamon. lovely lovely flavors in this cake! when it bakes, the peach slices exude a juice that seeps into the batter in the best possible way. recipe follows…. Continue reading

tribute to a bicycle race from Paris to Brest: a choux pastry wreath filled with pastry and whipped creams

this looks really complicated but it really is NOT.
wow that sounds like a bravura statement from me, the one who hasn’t been baking as much as i’d like due to unforeseen circumstances. i miss baking so much that i’ve pushed myself to the brink!
this pastry is something i’ve been wanting to try to make ever since i heard about it from so many TV chefs and so many cookbooks. looking at it closely it’s just a cream puff, reconfigured. just make it in steps, and it won’t be so overwhelming. i think a lot of wanna-be pastry chefs start out with choux pastry–the same one used for cream puffs! as i did when i was in my early teens, ages and aeons ago–because it is so easy to work with.
for this, Paris-Brest wreath with praline cream, first make the pastry cream, then leave to chill in the refrigerator.
pastry cream, chilling
start the almond praline, which is a caramel poured over almonds, then left to cool and harden, before grinding.
almond praline, cooling off
almond praline, powdered
the praline will be blended into the chilled pastry cream.
make and form the choux pastry while still warm. can you tell i’m not an expert at piping anything? i kind of groan at the mess. i think i don’t like that there’s a lot of batter left in the plastic bag! i’m OCD like that….
choux pastry wreath
bake and cool, then split the wreath horizontally, scrape off excess dough, then fill with praline cream and whipped cream.
Paris Brest, not too elegant
“Suddenly feel like screen goddess in manner of Grace Kelly…
… though perhaps ever so slightly less elegant under pressure.”
–“Bridget Jones’ Diary,” Helen Fielding.

here are my cream puffs, and i always gladly share the recipe if anyone is interested.

orange and almond tart

suddenly it’s summer!
from really cool, no, make that cold days and nights, in May–after we had turned off the furnace and made do with curling up under the thick duvets and flannel sheets–we are now on day 2 of a sizzling sweltering heatwave. i had to change all the bedsheets to cool cottons. and drag down the fans from the attic. i think i must have lost gallons of water, too bad it wasn’t pounds of weight though :) ! anyway i hied off to the pool for my “therapy session” and just to shame myself into not skipping, i am hereby announcing, i did my sixty 25-yard laps in 45 minutes. three times a week–this is the limit, i don’t see myself doing any more than sixty, i am getting old! this time it was complicated by having to share with two other people in a lane, meaning that we had to do the counterclockwise circle regardless of swimming ability or speed…that means constantly looking ahead to see if you’ll crash or drown. it calmed down after a while, i guess other swimmers just had the same idea of cooling off on this sizzling Saturday.
a boiled orange(!) + ground almonds

this tart was something i made when it was still cold, and turning on the oven was a great idea. this is one of the best tarts i ever made. promise! i was very doubtful about it, because it called for boiling an orange for almost an hour, skin and all. i’ve seen a buxom British celebrity chef do a cake with a boiled clementine and chocolate, but i was quite skeptical still.
i mean, why on earth would you want to boil a fruit so luscious and zesty as an orange? i’m so glad i took a gamble because it is just so delicious. my kids really loved it and made me swear to make it often.

orange and almond tart
recipe from “The Organic Seasonal Cookbook,”

lemon drizzle bites

lemon drizzle
i wanted to bring a dessert to a dear neighbor’s housewarming dinner party (i hope to be invited back heehee!)and i doubled the recipe to leave some for my sons. i’ll have to make another batch for daughter when she comes home from college, next week :) !

these “bites” (actually slices) are so bright and zingy, they will cheer you up even for just a brief and wonderful moment…

i used 2 jumbo lemons and a Meyer lemon…feel free to play around with other citrus fruits. i’m thinking lime, blood orange, tangerine…
lemony and zingy
for the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/3 cups ground almonds (almond flour)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

preheat the oven to 350°F.
grease and line a large rectangular pan (i used my pyrex) with parchment paper, then grease the paper.

beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, adding a little flour to prevent the mixture curdling. add the remaining flour and ground almonds and fold the ingredients together gently until just combined. turn into the pan and level the surface.

bake for about 25 minutes until just firm to the touch. transfer to a wire rack to cool. while still warm, sprinkle the granulated sugar in a thick layer over the cake and drizzle with the lemon juice. allow to cool completely and cut into thin slices to serve.
lemon drizzle bites, before
adapted from a recipe from “200 mini cakes and bakes hamlyn all color,” from Hamlyn, division of Octopus Publishing, (An Hachette UK Company)

the very toothsomeness of you

fudgy cocoa cake
toothsome /ˈtuːθs(ə)m/

Definition of toothsome

1.(of food) temptingly tasty:a toothsome morsel
2. informal (of a person) good-looking; attractive: a toothsome bimbo I thought he was toothsome

noun: toothsomeness, adverb: toothsomely (from Oxford Dictionary).

i thought of this word instantly, as soon as i took a bite of this cake (recipe from King Arthur Flour, “fudge birthday cake”). i wanted to use Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa because that is my preferred chocolate for cakes: deep, dark, lingering…the taste is almost like a feeling. ha, a chocolate feeling!? corny, but you’ll understand what i mean once you take a toothsome morsel of this.
moist and fudgy and toothsome cocoa cake, iced with dark chocolate ganache…

today was still a frosty day, we even saw some snowflakes walking out of the cinema at 6 p.m. (we watched “Jack the Giant Slayer”, me and #2son), and the James Taylor dude’s “Blossom” will make you really eager for spring, (and that’s the Carole King on the grand piano!).
seems my dreams have frozen
melt my cares away…

Meyer lemon and white chocolate tart

i found a one and only box of Meyer lemons at my Asian grocery, and i just had to run with it. the season for Meyer-lemon-seeking in New England is virtually non-existent. you have to keep a very sharp eye out for it. then when you see it, you grab it.
Meyer lemons
the box came with a very simple no-bake recipe, aside from the tart shell, and i wondered about the white chocolate part. i had a hunch the white chocolate would be drowned out by the Meyer lemons, which are very strong and floral, but is integral to the recipe to give it body and smoothness. i was a bit doubtful at first, while mixing in the chopped up white chocolate into the lemon curd. no worries, my boys give it a five-star thumbs up. i paired it with a sweet tart dough with almonds (from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking…”). it makes a nice breakfast treat with hot strong Italian espresso.
the zing of the Meyer lemons somehow makes me think of spring, which started yesterday, allegedly.

3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Meyer lemons, juiced
(i added a 1/4 tsp. of zest)
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 9-inch baked tart shell (i used a rectangle) with a removable bottom

in a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the eggs until blended, stir in sugar and then Meyer lemon juice. cook over boiling water, stirring continuously with a wire whisk until mixture thickens, resembling pudding. remove from the heat and stir in white chocolate until melted and completely incorporated. set aside and cool at room temperature. cover and chill. whip the cream to firm peaks. fold the cool Meyer lemon mixture into the cream and spoon into baked tart shell. chill 2 hours or until firm before serving.

or would you rather have Meyer lemons in cheesecake? or in lemon bars? i can finally make this citrus berry buttermilk cake with the real deal Meyer lemons!

Danish aebleskivers

…in the cakepop maker. i’m not so sure about its authenticity, i searched for the recipe in Scandinavian sites and the eggs were always separated, whites being whipped separately into a meringue before being incorporated back in.
this one is obviously adapted for the cakepop maker. i’ll order ableskivers next time i’m in Copenhagen, how’s that? 😆
i made these to welcome home the college kid who opted to stay home instead of going on a road trip with her roommate. woohoo! welcome back college kid!
but now the week is almost over and she has to go back. at least her university is only a few stops away on the train. i loved having all my children together again.

these were so quickly gobbled up, even with the double amount of batter. they kind of taste like a descendant of waffle, pancake, and popover: a bit crusty-crunchy on the outside, and soft and custardy on the inside. recipe is from the cakepop maker website:

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, jam, maple syrup, nutella

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. set aside.
in a small bowl whisk together egg, sour cream and buttermilk. pour into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
preheat cake pop Maker. using a pastry brush, brush each well with melted butter (or spray lightly with non-stick).
fill each well with about 1 tablespoon batter.
bake 2 to 3 minutes or until softly set and golden brown on the bottom. turn aebelskivers and bake 2 minutes or until golden.
generously sprinkle with powdered sugar. ( we dipped them in sugar in the raw, turbinado, maple syrup….you get the idea?)